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Neighborhood in two jurisdictions gets flooding attention

Published On: Oct 18 2013 08:55:49 PM CDT

A flood-damaged neighborhood that's partly on city, county and private property is getting long-awaited attention from Colorado Springs and El Paso County.


A mountainside community of 17 homes in the Pine Road area may be getting lingering flood concerns addressed by local leaders.

Pine Road borders west Colorado Springs, El Paso County and is near U.S. Forest Service land.  Neighbors say officials have disagreed for years about which jurisdiction is responsible for paying to repair recent flood damage.

County Commissioner Sallie Clark said flooding from federal land has caused severe erosion and property damage to several homes, and unauthorized changes to the drainage system have worsened the situation.

"There's a culvert that was blocked and redesigned by the neighbors," she said.  "That may not be in their best long-term interests."

Neighbors said the community's original developer went bankrupt and gave them the responsibility of paying for escalating drainage costs. 

"That limits governments' ability to intervene," said Clark.

"I had over $3,000 worth of property damage myself, from debris that came down," said neighbor Sharon Owen.  "Homeowners have put $50,000 since 2009 into maintaining this drainage area and these roads."

Clark said the extent of damage from the historic September flooding has convinced city and county leaders that repairs are a priority and a regional approach is needed to solve the problem.

Leaders are starting the process, she said, of determining a repair strategy.  However,  it's unclear how much repairs would cost, where the money would come from, and how long repairs would take.


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